Wednesday, November 28, 2012

S&W M&P 15

Where to begin? S&W has been selling AR15s or M4 clones for several years, and there's a massive amount of info already out there. It appears that Smith & Wesson has dropped the M&P 15 MOE that I purchased a few years ago and this seems to be the closest model in the current lineup. I'm basing that on the specs instead of the handguards, buttstock and pistol grip.

Let's get the price out of the way. I paid about $1000 for mine during the height of the Obama guns and ammo panic of 2008-2009.
Yes, you can buy a better rifle today for the same price.
Yes, you could say that I was bent over while writing that check. It certainly felt that way.
$1000 was the going price for the M&P MOE at that point in time. If you wanted this AR you paid the money.
This S&W wasn't my first AR and I suspected that prices might drop if the economy picked up, and no anti gun legislation was proposed between the 2008 and 2010 elections.
My family and I shot the rifle for almost 2 years before prices really started dropping. I consider the added cost worth it for the amount of fun, training and plinking that we enjoyed. Had we not been at the rifle range with this gun, we would have been at the movies, eating out, etc. The money flowing out of my wallet would have been about the same, but it would have went towards something other than shooting.
I went on and on about the $$$ for one reason. We are entering another period of panic buying and ever increasing prices. It's not as bad as 2008-2009 but we'll see a bit of price inflation. It will no doubt be proportional to the amount of stupidity coming out of DC.
If you want a gun and can afford it, then I suggest that you get it. Don't wait for it to possibly drop a few dollars. You're going to blow that extra bit of disposable income on something else and whatever it is, I doubt that it's putting rounds downrange.

I'll be referring to "Mil Spec" now and then. You aren't really going to buy a true mil spec rifle regardless of what your carbine owning friend or the guy at the gun store tells you.
M4's have a 14.5" barrel and 3 round burst so your Colt, BCM, etc. are not "Mil Spec" despite sharing some of the same features as the military weapons. It is possible to buy AR15's that have more mil spec features than others.

You'll see me refer to some of these rifles as M4gery's (as in M4 forgery). This isn't really meant to be derogatory.
I'll also be using M4, M4gery and AR15 when talking about the S&W M&P MOE. Most people usually refer to the 16" carbines as M4's regardless of whether or not it's applicable. A lot of gun owners use the term AR or AR15 when talking about the 20" version but they're all in the AR15 family.

BTW, I make no claims about being an expert on Black Rifles. This post merely deals with my experiences and opinions of this S&W M&P 15 MOE. You'll get a lot more info on what to look for when buying AR15's at , Vuurwapenblog , . Do yourself a favor and spend some time on these sites before dropping $800 or more (most likely much more for a higher end weapon) on an AR.

I guess the biggest question everyone asks is whether or not it's accurate followed by is it reliable (or vice versa)? The answer to both questions is yes.
This gun shoots better than I do (easy to do) and I feel that it's plenty accurate with the right ammo. I did a very informal test with this weapon a month or so ago, and hope to update the targets soon. I mentioned in that post that I was shooting off of a range bag instead of a sandbag and will get some updated targets up sooner or later.

The reliability is definitely there. I've shot about 10 different brands of ammo (at least) and 55gr to 77gr loads. It's fed everything perfectly. The M&P 15 is boringly reliable.
I usually use Pmags, but I have a few Bushmaster magazines and a dozen or so C mags. No problems have been seen with any of these. I doubt that I'll get anything different. If it works I usually leave it alone.

There's a lot to cover so I decided to break it down from muzzle to buttstock.

Birdcage flash suppressor: The S&W M&P 15 MOE uses the standard birdcage flash suppressor that many of us are familiar with from our days in the military. It's been around for decades and is not high on my list of things to change.

Barrel:  The chrome lined barrel is made from 4140 steel and has a 1:9 twist. The 1:9 twist will stabilize bullets in the 45gr-62gr range but I've shot heavier loads with decent accuracy.
This rifle has a 5.56mm chamber so you're OK using 5.56mm or .223cal. The bore and chamber are chrome lined.
Smith and Wesson calls their version of parkarizing a "Hard Coat Black Anodizing." I was comparing a Bushmaster and a BCM upper with the S&W. Surprisingly all three have a pretty clear difference in the coatings. At first glance they all look the same (most Black Rifles do) but there is a difference in texture and appearance. I'm not even going to pretend to know how well the anodizing will hold up. I would guess that it's at least as good as other M4gerys at this price point.
The usual cutout for the M203 is present, and while I think that it's stupid looking, it does give the gun a more mil spec look (if that is important to you).
The 4140 steel is not an issue with me as I'll never get a high enough round count to wear it out. Full auto fire will never happen nor will I do any bump firing. That's just not my thing. To each his own though.
The 4140 steel will be fine and should I ever reach the point in which the barrel is worn out it's an easy fix and won't break the bank.

Front sight: This S&W has the F marked front sight that is correct for the carbine model. Is the barrel parkarized... um, er... "Hard Coat Anodized" under the front sight?
Yes, it is.
Basically, there are some manufacturers that coat the barrels and then add the front sight. This is preferred.
Others put the sight on and then coat the barrel and front sight together. The area under the front sight is left uncoated, and there's probably been one or two AR's out of a gazillion than have had rust issues in that area.
So why doesn't everyone coat the barrel and then add the front sight?
You're adding a step to the manufacturing process, and also run the risk of scratching the barrel's coating when front sight is put on.
The FSB has taper pins.

Handguards: My M&P 15 wears the Flat Dark Earth colored Magpul handguards. They seem sturdy enough but I don't believe that they are as strong as the usual M4 carbine handguards. There are a lot more points to attach rails for flashlights, lasers, etc. Rails are sold separately.
Unleash your inner Mall Ninja and hang everything possible off of them.
The Magpul handguards look better than the standard handguards in my opinion. I also prefer the feel.
Some have asked if the handguards are strong enough to directly attach a sling to them... I'm not going to test it. I think it would be OK for just carrying the weapon to the range, but I wouldn't trust that method for any hard use.

Upper: The upper is made from 7075 T6 Aluminum and has a very good finish. This model includes the dust cover and forward assist. You won't find this on the sport models offered by many manufacturers. The chamber is chrome lined and there are M4 feed ramps.

Rear sight: The MBUS (Magpul Back Up Sight) rear sight is pretty decent overall, and I liked it enough to buy two more for other rifles. There's a small and large aperture on this flip up sight, and the MBUS is adjustable for windage only.
Yes, this is made from plastic. Okay, it's "Polymer." It's also a backup sight, is rarely used and is reasonably priced.
Once I zero the MBUS, a scope usually rests over it 99% of the time. They don't get much use afterwards. I'll remove a scope about once a year to practice with irons (um... polymer).
Long story short... I don't use them much but I like Magpul sights based on my limited experience. A second generation MBUS has been released since I purchased the earlier models for my AR's.
I'm linking to a couple of very good articles from Kit Up and Vuurwapenblog about the drop testing of the MBUS. Pretty impressive, huh?
One dislike that I have regarding the MBUS is the height. It sits up a bit higher than some of the metal back up sights on the market. This will force you to mount your scope a little higher than most prefer.
I have no experience with the 2nd generation MBUS but it should be a little shorter than the first gen model. After looking at the specs and measuring mine, I believe they are about 1/8" shorter.

Lower receiver: The lower is also made from 7075 T6 Aluminum and is nicely finished. That should be a given but I've seen some truly fugly stripped lowers on the market. Usually a lower is a lower as long as it's in spec. The finish and the roll mark are most of what you're paying for unless you get something a little differently shaped.
Magazines drop free without any problems. All of of the mags that I've used fit perfectly.
The early M&P's were made by Stag (according to the all knowing internet), and some of them had problems with Magpul magazines not fitting. That hasn't been an issue for years, and S&W now makes their own M4gery's.
S&W M4 feedramps
There's a little bit of play in between the upper and lower but it seems to be in the normal range. I really hadn't noticed it until I began this review and started pulling AR's out of the safe.
Bushmaster w/out M4 feedramps
S&W did a good job on the M4 feed ramps. BTW, the picture on the right is of an older Bushmaster from Maine, I have no idea if the Remington/Bushmaster rifles have M4 feedramps.
Controls: The trigger is about 7lbs and is nothing to brag about. Most triggers aren't on AR's and M4 clones. I would give it an OK and remind you that it's a quick and easy fix if you don't like the factory trigger.
The controls are all standard and nothing really to comment on. The all work well and feel like you would expect. There's no sloppiness or looseness, and everything has a very positive feel.

Magazines: I probably shouldn't mention the mags since you'll buy most of them on your own. I will say that S&W had a "5 Free" magazine special when I bought my rifle and, all of the supplied Magpul magazines were of high quality, worked perfectly and arrived within a decent amount of time. This was a mail in special at the time and I've seen them repeat that a few times.
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on any more magazine specials with the current anti gun policies coming out of the Capitol.

Pistol grip: About the only thing that I prefer about the MOE Grip is the storage compartment inside. I think that the standard M16A2 grip feels better, but I really like being able to keep a few spare parts in the MOE grip. It feels fine, and fits my hand nicely but I've seen other aftermarket grips that I prefer more.

Buttstock: I like the MOE Carbine Stock ,but I'll be honest. I don't think that it does much that the standard M4 stock doesn't. You get a few more sling attachment points and it looks cooler. It fits pretty snugly and I can't think of a single complaint about it.

I like all of the Magpul stuff on my M4gery's but most of all, I love their magazines. I can't say anything bad about any of their gear that I've used.
If I had nothing but Magpul magazines from now until eternity it would be just fine with me. I don't plan on doing a lot of comparisons in regards to AR mags.

Buffer tube (Receiver Extension): Mil spec tube and unstaked. Carbine buffer. Nuff said.

Bolt Carrier Group: The BCG has a correctly staked gas key. The bolt is HP tested and shot peened. The black extractor spring insert is present. You'll notice that this is the semi auto BCG.

S&W BCG at top

I found a few of these rifles online. The average used price seemed to be between $800 and $850 at this time. Add another $35 or so for a FFL transfer.
Other manufacturers have jumped onto the MOE bandwagon, and have a similar rifles or at least a similar looking version. A little bit of digging will be required to find out what barrel steel, twist rates, etc are offered.

If you're interested, that's a Burris PEPR mount. They now make a quick release model which falls into the "Gotta have it" category for me. Maybe Santa will help me upgrade.
The PEPR mount was purchased because I needed the extra height in order to get my scope over the MBUS. I could have left the MBUS off (which would have saved some coin), and had the scope closer to the barrel... but... it would offend my sense of order not to have a back up sight.
This offset mount was also needed to move the Burris 4.5-14x32mm far enough forward for me to use.
The scope shown is a bit big for this carbine but it's meant to be a range toy, and it keeps me from having to bring a spotting scope out on most days.
A commonly asked question is whether or not the front sight gets in the way. The answer is no. You'll never see it through your scope as long as it's set above 4x.

So in conclusion, I like the S&W M&P 15 MOE a lot. I have no buyer's remorse, and that's unusual for me.
Would I buy it again?

I have a few AR's and this one gets shot the most. You'll notice that I haven't done much to this gun. I added a scope, a few rails and replaced the stock end plate with one that has a sling mount. A new trigger will probably be added sooner or later. No hurry.
They say that AR15's are like Barbie's for men. You can dress them up however you want. They sky is limit for aftermarket accessories, and there's a lot of great stuff out there.
There's also some cheap junk and counterfeit gear. If that red dot scope that you're looking at is priced too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.
Be careful and if you're buying expensive gear then get it from a reputable dealer instead of the guy on Ebay.

Other Gun Reviews On This Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Training Mistakes

I've been thinking about this topic for a while, and trying to figure out how to present it.

Bear in mind that I'm not talking about professional instruction in this post, and I'm not trying to pretend that I'm some kind of firearms training guru. This is mostly just a few observations based on what I've noticed over the years.

Here are a few of the training mistakes that I've seen over the years. I have been guilty of some of these in the past, and I suspect that most of us can pick out one or two examples that we're guilty of.
Every time you take someone to the range it's a learning experience for both people.

1) Not bringing eye and ear protection
We see this all of the time at unsupervised ranges, and a lack of hearing protection helps to cause a flinch in new shooters (and hearing loss). BTW, some shooters will need to double up on the hearing protection. I never really ran into this until recently when a young woman needed both earplugs and earmuffs.
I wasn't going to name the shooter, but someone didn't run the vac today or clean the pig sty that is her room.
I took the Daywalker shooting a few months ago, and noticed that her groups looked more like buckshot than actual groups. After a while it became obvious that she was flinching when those around her were shooting. Looking back on our range trips, I realized that we almost always shoot on weekdays when the range is empty. She simply wasn't used to someone firing a gun at the station next to her, and flinched every time it happened.

2) Bringing too much gun
This is another biggie that everyone has seen. Most of us realize that learning to shoot with .357 magnum or .44 magnum loads isn't a good idea for most people.
I can remember taking a couple of friends shooting several years ago. The husband made a lot of claims about gun knowledge and shooting prowess. He then gave his inexperienced wife a snub nosed titanium framed .357 magnum loaded with... you guessed it, 357 magnum ammo. It hurt her hand, scared her, and I honestly don't think that she's shot it since.

3) Bringing the wrong gun
A lot of gun owners tend to bring their favorite gun, or whatever they feel is the most impressive handgun in their collection. This may not be the best choice for a beginner to learn on.
A good example of this is bringing a difficult to operate semi auto when the new shooter has weak hands, injuries or arthritis. A revolver or a more simple Glock-like semi auto would be a better choice.
Another example is using a semi auto that just doesn't fit the shooter. Kids, women and even some men have small hands. They may not be able to comfortably grip some of the hi capacity pistols out there. Trigger pulls can be too heavy. The reach to the trigger can be too long. This can go on and on. The right gun for you and I may be the wrong gun for someone else.
I do realize however that many people are limited by how many handguns they have, and what they can bring to the range. They get a pass on this one.

4) Not getting enough gun handling.
I often see people come out to the range with one box of ammo, and they always top off their magazines. That's fine, and a good idea when trying to make sure that your magazines function properly. The problem is that when you do this with new shooters they don't get much gun handling.
If you have 17 round magazines and one 50 round box of ammo you'll only get three reloads. This doesn't build any real skills in operating the weapon, and there's definitely no muscle memory being built.
I like to start new shooters off with 5 rounds per magazine. If they are only shooting one box of ammo (I try not to take anyone shooting if they don't buy at least two boxes) then that will give them 10 reloads. They get a lot more gun handling out of that box of ammo.  It also gives them a break to relax a little, get a few breaths, ask questions and have their technique evaluated.

5) Too much BSing and not enough shooting/gun handling
I ran into this the other day. A couple of guys tied up half of the rifle range, and I doubt that they fired 5 rounds.
In regards to training it's not unusual for a friend or family member to spend more time regaling a trainee with stories of their glory days instead of working with the trainee.
Been there, done that, trying to do better.
Apologies to those that had to suffer through it.

6) Too many guns
I've been guilty of bringing too many guns with different operating systems to the range. While it's good that a new shooter gets to try out a M1911, a striker fired pistol and a SA/DA handgun it can get a bit confusing. Simpler is often better. This is especially true when there's time constraints or a limited amount of ammo.

7) Too many guns too soon.
I saw an older gentleman teaching his wife how to shoot a few years ago. He had 3 or 4 handguns in his collection, and wanted her to shoot all of them on her first day at the range. That's somewhat understandable, but he would immediately hand her a different gun after she emptied whatever was currently being shot.
She never got a chance to reload or manipulate any of the controls besides the trigger. Basically she was just doing mag dumps and never got familiar with anything that she shot.

8) Going into too much detail
I used to be really guilty of that, and make it a point today not to tie up valuable time with things that a new shooter doesn't need to know. I try to keep the trivia to a minimum and concentrate on building skills and good habits.

9) Bringing one target
I see this more at the indoor ranges for some reason. Perhaps it's because if you pay to join a private range it's more likely that you're into the sport, and willing to pay that extra dollar or two for a few extra targets.
Anyway, I see a lot of shooters show up with one target (usually a poster of some bad guy), and they dump an entire box of ammo into it before leaving. They get no real visual feedback on whether or not they're improving.
BTW, leave the Obama targets at home. They make some people uncomfortable, and it looks bad if the media happens to be doing a story at the range.
Some of BHO's supporters have an almost cult like devotion, and if they see your target at the range... they are armed and could be a little irrational. What you think is amusing may be considered a grave insult and/or racist.
Long story short... leave the overt politics at home, and this includes Obama targets (even though he sucks).

10) Getting mad
Not everyone learns at the same rate, and I've seen obvious frustration in some people at the range.
Actually, I haven't seen this with casual instruction among friends and family.
The instance that I'm thinking of took place at an indoor range during security guard training. The instructor spent more time yelling at the students than working with them.
Be calm and encouraging. Shooting can be stressful enough for some people even without you getting angry at them. Start the day by realizing that there will be mistakes, and yes... even muzzling of fellow shooters.

11) Assuming the newbie is better than they really are
I have been guilty of this. I'll bring people to the range with little or no experience. I will watch them like a hawk for the first couple of visits.
After two or three trips and several hundred rounds, I have, in the past,  assumed that they were reasonably proficient. That has not always been the case, and I have seen people trying to load the wrong ammo in my mags, limp wristing, etc.
It's funny, you can see someone absolutely wail on the targets on their second range trip. You can observe them handle a gun like they've shot for years. Then on the third visit they're loading .40cal ammo in 9mm magazines, and limp wristing every other shot. Very weird.

Edit: I thought of this tonight after running into a family member. He shoots OK with a full sized service pistol, but cannot stay on paper with a snub nosed revolver. A friend of mine can handle a 9mm or .38spl reasonably well, but is scared of larger calibers.
This doesn't have anything to do with safety, but illustrates how you cannot assume that beginners are entirely competent because they've shot one gun well on a trip or two.

12) Assuming the newbie is safer than they really are
Long story short, I've seen people walking down range on several occasions while others were shooting. Fortunately they've never been anyone that I've brought.
Keep an eye on the new guy (or gal). Don't assume that common sense is a universal trait.

13) Not learning to deal with malfunctions
This is a biggie for me. I see very few people at the range practice clearing jams. Most new shooters have no idea what to do, and often their trainer has very little experience with malfunctions. Part of this is due to the reliability of the most popular handguns. Most of it is simply low round counts and lack of training on the part of those giving the informal training.
I make it a point to make sure that the Daywalker and the Daywalker's Mom always practice dealing with FTFs, double feeds and stovepipes for at least a few minutes when we shoot. The beginners that I take out do this as well once they start getting pretty good groups, and their gun handling improves. It's usually an end of the day skills builder for new shooters.
I don't do a lot of competition shooting, but I still have clear memories of one match I shot several years ago. It was just a local match and most of those attending probably had skills a little above average. I can still remember seeing some shooters absolutely go to pieces when their handgun jammed and it would take them a looooong time to get it running again. If they were that rattled with the limited stress of shooting in front of their peers then what would they do if their gun malfunctioned during a confrontation?
Long story short... get some snap caps and practice.

14) Not dry firing
Do some dry firing. This is neglected by most of us, and can help a new shooter a great deal. Actually it can help everyone but since it's boring, the majority of people neglect it.

15) Safety and range rules
I probably should have put this at the top, or added it into the earlier point about safety. The previous topic dealt more with common sense than rules though.
Make sure that the new shooter has some idea of what the safety and range rules are. They don't need to have everything memorized before arriving, but it's a good idea to at least have a general knowledge of what's expected.

I'll probably go back and add a few more items as time passes. There are links below to a couple of earlier topics that I posted on range etiquette and packing for the range.
Enjoy. Drop me a line or post a comment if you have seen a training mistake that I've missed.

Putting together a range bag
Range etiquette 

Edit: Ah hell, I've already thought of two more points to add. Maybe I'll get to it in the morning after I get off from work.

Edit: Here they are (at last). It only took an extra week or two for me to get off of my butt and update this.

16) Set expectations
What does the new shooter expect? Does he/she want you hovering over them and treating the range session like a class? Do they just want to do some casual plinking? Do they want you to show them how the firearm operates and then leave them alone?
This should be covered early so there are no misunderstandings. This is especially true since some people know it all, and resent any criticism whether it's minor or major.
I'm mostly talking about men in case you didn't guess. Women are usually an absolute pleasure to work with at the range.
Are you taking a couple or a few friends shooting? Are you expected to work with one of them, or perhaps both? Will one of them be helping the other?
This can get tricky because husbands usually make it a point to bother their wives while they're shooting. They feel the need to offer a great deal of unsolicited advice regardless of their own skill level or experience.

17) Find out about time and money constraints
How long will the new shooter be at the range? Does he/she have a limited amount of time? Structure the training around that.
The same can be said for money. If they are reimbursing you for the ammo then get an idea of how much they'll be buying ahead of time. Bring extra ammunition in case they want to extend the practice a bit. Speaking from experience, I do the training much differently if they're shooting 150 rnds vs 50 rnds.

Luckily, I ran across this blog today. It was the cause of me coming back to this post.
This woman has a vast amount of knowledge and can easily put me to shame. This is her take on bringing new shooters to the range .

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kershaw Skyline (1760)

This won't take long. The (1760) Kershaw Skyline is a very good EDC knife and is well worth what I paid for it. You really can't go wrong with this blade.
There. I told you it wouldn't take long. There's no reason to read any further but...
If you want to check out my long, rambling review then feel free to read on.

Let's start with the specs since they're obviously secret and impossible to find on the internet.

Blade Length:     3.125"
Overall Length:   7.375"
Closed Length:    4.24"
Weigth:                2.3oz
Blade Steel:        Sandvik 14C28N, Bead Blasted Finish
Blade Type:        Spearpoint, Bead Blasted Finish
Pocket Clip:        Reversable Tip Up or Tip Down (Right Side Only)
Blade:                 Hollow Ground
Lock:                  Liner

Made In The USA (Hell yeah... how often do we see that in 2012?)

The Kershaw Skyline is a very high value knife. That's becoming less true however as time passes.  Just a couple of years ago the Skyline was selling for $30 at Walmart. They now average about $40-$45 online and I haven't seen them at Walmart in a long while. I had heard that they were discontinued but see that they're still carried on the Kershaw website. Perhaps it's the OSO Sweet that I'm thinking of.
So while I like the knife, I think that it's rapidly approaching the point at which you can get better blades for the same price. It was an outstanding knife for $30 and it's still a pretty good knife for $40. Add another $7 for S&H and some people would start looking at other models and manufacturers.

At 2.3oz this is a very light knife. I hate carrying a lot of weight in my pockets and if you're like me you won't even notice that you have the 1760 on you. Considering that you get a 3 1/8" blade the 2.3oz weight is pretty impressive. BTW, the blade to handle ratio is very good. I hate it when you have huge handle and a 1/2" shorter blade. It just seems like a waste.

The Skyline comes with G10 scales and doesn't have any liners. This holds the weight down and doesn't seem to sacrifice strength. There's a solid feel to this knife and usually strength is equated with weight. It's great that the manufacturer is able to keep the weight down without making the knife feel "Cheap" or flimsy.

This Kershaw's handle has an OK texture but I wouldn't call it grippy.  In general, I like G10 material for knives. If it is used however, I would prefer the manufacturer to go with the high traction texture that Cold Steel uses. I have no idea if there is a price difference in the two versions but I would always prefer more traction if it's available. I know that some will say that the rougher G10 will shred your pockets but 15 minutes of sanding under the pocket clip will take care of that.
There's a deep groove for the index finger and this really helps to lock the knife in your hand despite the so-so traction of G10 scales.
Don't get me wrong. I don't think that this is a slick or hard to grip knife. I think that most people will have no issues keeping a good grip on it in daily tasks. It just seems like a waste to put G10 scales on a knife and not go with a rougher texture. That's just my opinion and as the Skyline has been selling for years it appears that I'm alone on that.

The blade is hollow ground and has a nice spear point shape. This knife is a flipper design and opens reasonably fast with a flick of the wrist. There are studs on either side of the blade but they are almost impossible to use and appear to be more of a blade stop than an opening method.

I'm not even going to try to fake it on the steel used. I'm not really familiar with Sandvik 14C28N. This is the only knife I have that uses it and I don't have any complaints. The edge holds up well and I haven't seen any rust. Even though I don't use my knives that hard, I have seen some of my other blades with 8Cr13Mov rust if I don't take care of them. The Sandvik 142C28N is supposed to be better steel and time will tell.

This isn't much of an issue with me but if you wear very tight clothes you'll appreciate the thinness of this knife.

The Skyline has a laynard hole and while this is seldom used it's always appreciated.

The pocket clip works ok, but is ugly, silver and doesn't allow for deep carry like the SOG's and some CRKT's. It's reversable for tip up or tip down carry, but if you're a wrong handed individual you'll be disappointed that it's right side only.
I'm a big fan of the deep carry clips and I'll probably knock every knife that sticks out of the pocket.

The blade locks up tight and I can't find any movement. I've had a couple of these knives, and the 1760 Skylines always have perfect centering and a tight lockup. I've never opened the box and found a dull Kershaw (in any model).

The liner lock keeps the blade solidly deployed and I trust it. I've seen some cheap Chinese knives that I would never use in a million years. It appears that not everyone can make a liner lock that works. I'm ok with the Skyline's lockup and have never had any complaints with any of the Kershaw locks. If I really need something more solid I'll buy a fixed blade.

The Skyline has been around for a few years and may be getting a bit stale. It still works fine, and is a great knife. Newer toys come out every year, and after a while it's time to update or get left behind.
I would love to see Kershaw offer the 1760 with more highly textured G10 scales, jimping, and a blackened deep carry pocket clip. It's guarenteed that I'd buy one. Different colors might help too (OD, desert tan, etc). A blacked out version like this Volt II would even be a big improvement. They do offer an attractive Damascus version but it's in a different price range.
When this knife only cost $30 it was a must have. Now that $40 seems to be the average price it's moved into the price range that has a lot of us shopping around and comparing.

So in conclusion, this is a good knife. I've bought two so my complaints must not be too bad. I've given some away and the knives were well recieved. It would be interesting to know how many Walmart has sold, and I can imagine it was truckloads when they were $30.
I had planned on putting this knife up against the OSO Sweet and Volt II since they were all similiarly priced, but once I looked at current pricing, I decided to merely say that the Skyline seems like a stronger knife and has a tighter lockup. Blade deployment is obviously slower, but I would suspect that if the three knives were used on a daily basis you would get years more use out of the Skyline.
Of course the OSO SweetVolt II  and Clash can all be found on sale in my area for $20. If you're a Kershaw fan it's hard to choose between buying two pretty good knives or one slightly better one. I think that an upgrade to the 1760 Skyline would take care of that.

Kershaw Knives

Other Reviews On This Blog

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Do You Need A Gun?

I read a fair amount of articles on self defense, firearms, etc. That should be no surprise if you've followed this blog for the last few months. I always like checking the comments on these articles and usually find one or two people posting that a gun is unnecessary.

There will inevitably be someone stating that a dog is better than a gun.  A few of those posting comments will sing the praises of their dogs and proclaim that they don't need firearms since they have a _____(breed of your choice). Their pups are always scarier than Cujo and more protective than a mama grizzly.
Let's put that myth to rest.

Guard Dogs More Friendly Than Frightening When Put To The Test

I do want to be fair. This video showed how poorly the canines did in defending their homes but didn't touch on what the dogs would do if their owners were attacked. I suspect that the reaction would be a bit fiercer.
Dogs make better alarm systems than defenders.
I'm not saying that canines are useless, but I believe that many people over estimate the abilities of an animal that has the intelligence of a 2yr old child.

Then there's the guy that believes that martial arts training can replace a gun. This person will go on and on about how everyone should just take martial arts training instead of owning firearms. The term, "Coward" is often thrown around when they describe gun owners.
They never explain what happens when they run into someone with a gun AND more fighting experience than their own. They also never mention what happens if they're confronted by multiple assailants.
The assumption is made that everyone is fit, healthy and has the time and money to study martial arts. It's interesting to read their opinions. I always wonder how long it will be before some criminal removes them from the gene pool.

Here's a couple of articles about a truly heinous crime. I'd like to make 4 quick points.

1) The victim had a dog.
2) The victim was 24 and her assailant was over 60 years old.
3) The victim had martial arts training but was unarmed.
4) Never give up or trust the attacker.

Meredith Emerson Fought Hard To Survive
Studied Martial Arts

Moving on.
This video shows police officers macing a drunk. Civilians cannot buy mace and are stuck with the less effective pepper spray.
Not everyone has the same reaction to OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray or mace. Some will roll around on the ground crying while others shake it off like this gentleman.
I believe that there is a lot of misplaced faith in those little pepper spray containers that everyone is buying at Walmart. BTW, not all of these devices are created equal and you often get what you pay for.


I may go back and edit in a video or two about tasers. I'm far from an expert on these devices but I do know this.
If you have to get close enough to make direct contact with another person then they are close enough to get their hands on you as well. Will the tasers work through the clothing an assailant is wearing? If you get the model that shoots barbs can you hit your target? Do you have a reload? How fast can you reload? Suppose there is more than one attacker? What if their clothing is thick enough to prevent contact?
I'll say it again. I'm not an expert with tasers but there seems to be a lot of blind faith put into these devices.

For the record, I believe that everything that I panned above is useful in the right situation.
Dogs make great alarms and offer some protection. If nothing else they are sometimes a deterrence.
Martial arts or anything that improves your level of fitness makes you more confident and a less tempting target.
OC spray and tasers provide a less lethal response if needed and let's be clear, there are times when deadly force is not preferred or justified.
Meeting a deadly threat with a less lethal response will probably not end well.
Dogs, sprays, tasers, etc are great. They're all just another tool in your tool box.
Firearms are the same thing, just another tool.

So in conclusion, pick what works for you. Layer your self defense tools and don't put blind faith in something that costs $5 at Walmart. Pick what you can use and don't believe that a rape whistle can fill the role of a firearm.

Also don't put your trust in middle aged bloggers that spend way too much time talking about gun stuff on the internet. Get some professional training.

Nuff said.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In The News

It's Back....The UN Arms Control Treaty
Criminals And The Guns They Carry
Gun Control Infographic
A Tale Of Four Heroes
SpecOps Fitness Test
Lib Think Tank Recommends Big Military Benefits Cuts
Picking A Knife
US Calls Off Naval Drills In Order To Please China
President Obama Calls For AWB
Feinstein Pushing For New AWB?
Understanding Engineers

The Collapse Of Democracy

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to selfishness;
  • From selfishness to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free Shit Army triumphs! was nice to know you.
There was a 50 - 50 chance of making the right choice. There was a possibility of a soft landing instead of the crash that's on the way. You blew it.
Enjoy your phones.

BTW, this is probably the best explanation that I can find about the Obama win last night.


2012 Election Weirdness

New Black Panthers Back At Philly Voting Site
Problems, Panthers Surface At PA Polling Places
Obama Mural Covered....Not Really
Dem Campaign Boss Caught
Judge Orders Obama Mural Covered At Polling Station
Black Panthers Allowed, Poll Watchers Kicked Out
Election Officials Kicked Out Of Polling Stations
Poll Watcher In Detriot Threatened With A Gun
Murals, Panthers And Booted Election Officials
NAACP Takes Over Polling Station
Foreign Observers Amazed At Our Elections System
Obama Poster Hanging In FL Polling Station
Obama Mural In DC Polling Station
Allegations Of Ballot Tampering In Oregon
Suppressing The Military Vote
Fraud, Intimidation, etc
Not Appropriate....Illegal If Done By A Republican
Just Vote Democrat All Of The Way Down
Unregistered Voting In Ohio
Kind Of Funny That They Obeyed
Recount In Allen West's District
More Ballots Than Voters?
Voter Rolls Are Bloated
FL Vote Scandal
Voting Machines Changing Votes
22 Signs That Voter Fraud Is Out Of Control
The Big List Of Voter Fraud Reports
Colorado Counties Have More Voters Than People
Dems Vote The Mentally Disabled
Ohio Woman Votes Twice For Herself And Twice More For Family Members

I'll keep adding to this list. Some of you might remember the write up I did a few weeks ago about voter fraud . I'm sure that this election will give me plenty of material for an update on that as well.

I sit here wondering what the MSM would be saying if there were uniformed Tea Party members outside polling places. I suspect that we would be hearing all about voter intimidation, racism and mass hysteria.

I watch videos like this and have to wonder why New Black Panther members are allowed outside of polling places. Surely there is an intimidation factor that even the most biased Lefty can admit.
Yet, there they are.
They remain while poll watchers are kicked out.

In The News

Paul Ryan's Guns
Hi Point Manufacturer Faces Lawsuit
Gun Sales Surge In Fear Of Obama Re-Election
Sandy Starved New Yorkers Dumpster Dive
Chicago County Drops Bullet Tax - Still Nuts About Firearms Though
Fiat Says Jeeps May Be Built In China
CNN Paid For News?
Taurus Announces Expansion
New Black Panthers Return To Philly Polling Place
Picking A Knife
The Candidate's History On Guns

Friday, November 2, 2012

No National Guard In Brooklyn Because They Carry Guns?

You have to read this to believe it. The sheer incompetence would have been inconceivable if we had not already lived through almost 4 years of an Obama Administration.
Anyway, read up on Bloomberg's latest view on who should have firearms. Apparently the National Guard doesn't make the list.

Types Of Gun Owners

                                                                    James Yeager


Two really good YouTube channels. Check them out.
I enjoyed the vids on this topic. It helps to remind us NOT to be that guy.

In The News

Boston To Tighten Knife Laws
Syria Booby Traps Rebel's Ammunition
6 People You Meet At A Shooting Range
China Raises Stakes Over Disputed Islands
Obama: Benghazi May Have Been Big Breakdown
Mob Justice
Pentagon Denies Foxnews Report On Benghazi
Huge Iraq Contract Goes To Biden's Little Brother's Company
General At Center Of Benghazi Gate Controversy Retiring
Dempsey Hits Rumors About General's Retirement

Colt Again Blocks Army's Advanced M4 Plan
What Gun Owners Do
The Rise And Fall Of The M14

Obama Met With Panetta And Biden In WH As Benghazi Terror Attack Unfolded

Looting Arrests Made
Looting Spree Planned In Advance
More Looting In NYC
Looting Begins In NYC
Looting After Hurricane Sandy
Looters Target Coney Island
Looters Dress Like Con Ed Workers
11 Busted Looting
Looting Epidemic
New Yorkers Arm Themselves